For the second straight year, due to the number of teams participating, the annual Best of Preps football jamboree will be spread across three days.
The preseason event, presented by Chattanooga Sports, features 23 teams and is set for Aug. 11-13 at Finley Stadium. There will be teams from Hamilton, Bradley and Marion counties, and Best of Preps newcomer Murfreesboro Blackman will also participate.
The first night will feature seven 20-minute quarters of action, followed by eight quarters each of the following two days. Admission will be $10 each day.
The first day's action includes last year's TSSAA Class 1A state champion, South Pittsburg, taking on Signal Mountain and Silverdale Baptist Academy, which returns 15 starters from its nine-win team last season.
Friday's matchups are highlighted by three-time reigning Division II-AAA state champion McCallie taking on Boyd Buchanan — which is now guided by Gary Rankin, the state's career wins leader, who was hired as head coach of the Buccaneers during the offseason. As for McCallie, the Blue Tornado also will take on Cleveland, while Chattanooga Christian — the Chargers' roster is led by Boo Carter, one of the nation's top junior prospects — will face Brainerd and Marion County, both of which hired new head coaches during the offseason.
Saturday's action begins with back-to-back games for Tyner against Central and Red Bank, and then Blackman — which features one of the state's fastest-paced offenses — will make its Best of Preps jamboree debut against Red Bank. The Blaze will also take on Baylor, which boasts several college prospects — including recent Ole Miss offensive line commitment Brycen Sanders — and is guided by Erik Kimrey, hired as head coach this year after working as an assistant at the University of South Carolina last season.
Spectators should note that per Finley Stadium restrictions, only one clear plastic bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a one-gallon clear, resealable plastic storage bag per person will be permitted. Fans will also be allowed a small clutch purse not to exceed 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches. No other bags will be allowed inside Finley Stadium.
All items, including clear bags and clutch purses, are subject to search at the gates.
Other prohibited items include no outside food or beverages, no stadium seats with arms and no weapons of any kind, including pocket knives. The following items are permitted: cushions or seats without arms or pockets and small bags with medically necessary items. Diapers and nonmedical necessary items for babies and young children should be carried in a clear bag. An infant or child must accompany a diaper bag.
BEST OF PREPS JAMBOREE SCHEDULE
At Finley Stadium; all times p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 11
Signal Mountain vs. Lookout Valley, 6
East Ridge vs. Lookout Valley, 6:30
South Pittsburg vs. Signal Mountain, 7
East Ridge vs. Sale Creek, 7:30
South Pittsburg vs. Silverdale Baptist, 8
Hixson vs. Sale Creek, 8:30
Hixson vs. Silverdale Baptist, 9
Friday, Aug. 12
Boyd Buchanan vs. Ooltewah, 6
Cleveland vs. Ooltewah, 6:30
Boyd Buchanan vs. McCallie, 7
Cleveland vs. McCallie, 7:30
Soddy-Daisy vs. Brainerd, 8
Soddy-Daisy vs. Marion County, 8:30
Chattanooga Christian vs. Brainerd, 9
Chattanooga Christian vs. Marion County, 9:30
Saturday, Aug. 13
Central vs. Tyner, 6
Red Bank vs. Tyner, 6:30
Central vs. Howard, 7
Red Bank vs. Blackman, 7:30
East Hamilton vs. Howard, 8
Baylor vs. Blackman, 8:30
East Hamilton vs. Notre Dame, 9
Baylor vs. Notre Dame, 9:30